Student seeks new trial in music downloading case

AP News
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Posted: Jan 04, 2010 5:26 PM

A graduate student who was ordered to pay four record labels a combined $675,000 for downloading and sharing songs online is asking a judge to grant him a new trial or reduce the damages.

Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., admitted last year that he illegally downloaded and distributed 30 songs.

In a motion filed Monday, the Boston University student's lawyers say a federal jury's damage award in July was too high.

They argue that Tenenbaum was one of millions of people who downloaded and shared music.

During the trial, Tenenbaum's lawyer suggested the damages should be as little as 99 cents per song, roughly the same amount Tenenbaum would have to pay for a legal online purchase.

A lawyer for the recording labels described Tenenbaum as a "hardcore" copyright infringer.